Mount St. Joseph defeats St. Frances, 58-42

Goretti tops Loyola, meets Gaels in semis

Catholic League basketball

High School

March 01, 2001|By Bo Smolka | Bo Smolka,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

St. Frances learned last night just how tough it is to beat a team three times in one year. After handing Mount St. Joseph 10- and 12-point losses in the regular season, the Panthers were manhandled by the Gaels, 58-42, in the first round of the 30th Baltimore Catholic League tournament at Goucher College.

Fourth-seeded Mount St. Joseph (22-9), the only team in the league that has yet to win a championship, advances to meet top-seeded St. Maria Goretti in the semifinals tomorrow night.

Keon Lattimore scored 15 points to lead four Mount St. Joseph players in double figures. J.J. Outlaw and Kevin Mickens chipped in with 14 each.

The Gaels kept fifth-seeded St. Frances (16-10) at bay with an effective zone defense and an aggressive effort on the boards at both ends of the floor.

"That's the most zone we've played all year," Gaels coach Pat Clatchey said.

"We made a commitment that if they were going to beat us, they were going to do it from the perimeter."

The zone helped neutralize the Panthers' 6-foot-6 Cheyenne Patty, who scored 22 points in an earlier meeting, but was held scoreless in the first half as Mount St. Joseph built a 25-18 lead.

Patty began to find seams in the zone in the third quarter. He scored 10 points in a four-minute span that cut a 14-point Mount St. Joseph lead in half.

But the Panthers again went cold early in the fourth quarter, and Mount St. Joseph's work on the boards often limited St. Frances to one opportunity on each possession.

After Derrick Brooks cut the Gaels' lead to 37-32 early in the fourth quarter, St. Frances went more than three minutes before scoring another field goal.

St. Maria Goretti 63, Loyola 55: Catholic League Player of the Year Rodney Gibson scored 20 points to lead top-seeded St. Maria Goretti past eighth-seeded Loyola and spoil Jerry Savage's 1,000th game as coach.

Loyola (9-23) never recovered from the opening minutes of the second quarter, as the Dons missed nine of their first 10 shots and Goretti (22-9) ran off eight straight points for a 21-14 lead.

The Gaels led by as many as 13 in the third period, but Loyola rallied behind guard Essien Ford, who led all scorers with 22 points. Ford's layup and three-pointer keyed a 7-0 run that cut Goretti's lead to 44-38 at the end of the third quarter. But Gibson and Matt Tanner (18 points), who joined Gibson on the All-Catholic League first team, asserted themselves in the second half for Goretti.

The duo scored 27 of their combined 38 points in the second half, and Tanner preserved the lead for the Gaels with 6-for-6 foul shooting in the fourth quarter.

"They aren't real deep," Savage said, "but they get an awful lot out of what they have."

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